Supporting newly qualified social workers in first year of employment

Rachel Catton (2022) Wakefield Learning Academy

Presented at MiniBash UK 2022

The Wakefield Learning Academy is part of the Children and Young People Service (CYPS) at Wakefield Council.  The Academy supports all learning and development opportunities for staff working within the CYPS, including front-line social workers.  Newly qualified social workers undertaking their first year of employment need to complete an Assessed and Supported Year (ASYE) which involves progressive assessment linked to fitness to practice.

In order to address concerns raised by Ofsted, the Academy wanted to move to an online system to improve support for the ASYE, so they established an ASYE Academy.  A dedicated member of staff delivered training 2 days per month, which included time to work on portfolios, which were also moved online.  PebblePad was selected as it enabled access to both leaners and assessors, allowed progress to be monitored and made visible to externals, and the company had experience with the social care system.

A PebblePad workbook was developed to support the 12 months of progressive assessment with each 3-month section released once the previous 3-month assessment was completed and signed off.  Advantages of this approach included the ability to demonstrate progress for Ofsted, provision of a highly structured program where learners could not jump ahead, and support for moderation.

Bridging Programme for Paramedicine Degree Apprenticeship

Martin Frood & Nick Carter (2022) University of Cumbria

Presented at MiniBash UK 2022 

The University of Cumbria offers a Paramedic Bridging Program for clinicians who are non-paramedics but working on an ambulance, enabling them to transition into the second year of a Paramedicine Degree Apprenticeship.   A portfolio is a key element of the bridging program, supporting the evidencing, reflection and assessment of practice.  The traditional paper-based portfolios were problematic and so a digital solution was sought.  Some of the key requirements included the ability for students to access the course throughout the UK, the ability to work offline, easy evidence collation, the ability for feedback to be provided, and a tool which could support internal QA processes.

Consultation with all stakeholders, including students, resulted in the development of a PebblePad workbook to support the student journey. Key elements included logbooks, which incorporated evidence created and signed-off off-line in the PebblePocket app, and embedded elearning activities using Google and Microsoft forms.  Feedback was provided directly into the student portfolios and all QA requirements were also supported within the online process.  Key benefits included the ability to deliver programs nationally, support remote assessment, 24/7 student access, and simple marking and feedback.

Designing a cross institution placement workbook.

Team eMora (2022) Sheffield Hallam University

Presented at MiniBash UK 2022

In 2019 the National Midwifery Council in the UK redeveloped the midwifery standards, requiring students to meet and evidence 280 midwifery ‘proficiencies’ to achieve in their final year. Previously a paper document, the Midwifery Ongoing Record of Achievement (MORA), of about 500 pages was used to sign off competencies as they were achieved. Midwifery evidence is complex and number driven in order for students to achieve accreditation and ensure students meet the minimum experiences. Changing to an electronic portfolio, the eMORA meant students had a record of achievement they could take into the workplace with them. 

The development team included academic experts together with learning designers and a project manager. Although challenging, they brought together the 8 universities involved and around 25 people in weekly online meetings to create the new eMora from PDFs to PebblePad. Work was divided between the universities to ensure a manageable workload and those contributing universities created guides and developed documentation for the NMC validation team. Students from Sheffield Hallam helped by testing the new eMora PebblePad portfolio and their recommendations saw iterative changes made in time to publish Version 2.  External assessors who initially resisted, are now using PebblePocket to sign off proficiencies in the workplace and academics sign off key touch points throughout the year to ensure a manageable workload.

Professional Portfolios: Supporting the transition from student to professional.

Dr Zoe Bradfield (2021) Curtin University


The aim of this oral presentation is to describe the experiences and outcomes of a recent innovative addition to the capstone units in our midwifery courses at Curtin University in the form of a professional portfolio workshop.

Description of the Innovation

We are now in our fifth year of using ePortfolios for the collation, evidence, teaching and assessment of clinical experience requirements for midwifery courses. Realising the significant resource that is developed in the students’ ePortfolio, I embarked on the development of a workshop that would enable students to use some of these resources as well as adding new items to create a professional portfolio that would display their capacity and employability attributes in a professional online format. Benefits of the development of an online professional portfolio that is readily shareable with potential employers have been realised by our graduates. In addition to developing an impressive, bespoke, end product, students have an enhanced understanding of the connection between course requirements and attributes that will contribute to employability and career progression through the development of a professional portfolio.

Dr Zoe Bradfield, Midwifery Academic and Research Fellow, Curtin University

Nursing ePortfolio Learning - Theory to practice: 5 lessons learned

Associate Profession Caroline Nilson & Mrs Helen Dugmore (2021) Murdoch University

This short presentation was delivered at the Western Australia Teaching Support for Users of PebblePad (WATSUP) event held in March 2021.  This community of practice event focused on the Nursing and Midwifery professions. 

Associate Professor Caroline Nilson, Discipline of Nursing, Murdoch University

Mrs Helen Dugmore, Discipline of Nursing, Murdoch University 

Clinical portfolio implementation in Nursing: 5 favorite things (plus one)

Helen Dugmore (2021) Murdoch University

This short presentation was delivered at the Western Australia Teaching Support for Users of PebblePad (WATSUP) event held in March 2021.  This community of practice event focused on the Nursing and Midwifery professions. 

Mrs Helen Dugmore,  Discipline of Nursing, Murdoch University

PebblePad in Midwifery at Curtin: 5-in-1 whole of course portfolio

Dr Zoe Bradfield (2021) Curtin University

This short presentation was delivered at the Western Australia Teaching Support for Users of PebblePad (WATSUP) event held in March 2021.  This community of practice event focused on the Nursing and Midwifery professions. 

Dr Zoe Bradfield, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine, Curtin University

International assessments in Nursing using PebblePad: 5 top tips and 5 things we learned

Helen Godwin & Sandy Baxter (2021) Curtin University

This short presentation was delivered at the Western Australia Teaching Support for Users of PebblePad (WATSUP) event held in March 2021.  This community of practice event focused on the Nursing and Midwifery professions. 

Helen Godwin, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine, Curtin University

Sandy Baxter, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine, Curtin University

ECU electronic midwifery portfolio: 5 Steps to Perfect Collaboration

Dr Dianne Bloxsome (2021) Edith Cowan University

This short presentation was delivered at the Western Australia Teaching Support for Users of PebblePad (WATSUP) event held in March 2021.  This community of practice event focused on the Nursing and Midwifery professions. 

Dr Dianne Bloxsome, Midwifery studies, Edith Cowan University

ECU - Work Ready: 5 reflections on reflecting in PebblePad

Dr Olivia Gallagher (2021) Edith Cowan University

This short presentation was delivered at the Western Australia Teaching Support for Users of PebblePad (WATSUP) event held in March 2021.  This community of practice event focused on the Nursing and Midwifery professions. 

Dr Olivia Gallagher, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Edith Cowan University

Portfolio thinking: It takes a village

Jacqui Patten, Dr Olivia Gallagher & Rebecca Scriven (2020) Edith Cowan University 

Moving from a paper-based nursing clinical placement tool to an online portfolio platform was not without its challenges. In the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Edith Cowan University a whole of school approach was adopted that incorporated not only the 3000 plus student body but academics, professional staff, and clinical placement administrators. This resulted in rewards that were seen and felt way beyond the technology used to support it. The adage 'It Takes a Village' was never truer in overcoming the challenges faced, however, ultimately determined the success of this story and ability to showcase the student learning journey.

Jacqui Patten, PebblePad Australia

Dr Olivia Gallagher, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Edith Cowan University

Rebecca Scriven, Centre for Learning and Teaching, Edith Cowan University

This presentation was delivered at the 2020 ePortfolios Australia Forum.  The full program and presenatation recordings can be accessed at

A program level approach to supporting student development using PebblePad

Dr Emma Gregory (2020) The University of Sheffield

In this presentation Emma Gregory (Health Sciences School) describes the development of a PebblePad workbook to support the personal, clinical and professional development of speech and language therapy students throughout their course. 

Dr Emma Gregory, Speech and Language Therapy, Health Sciences School, University of Sheffield

Showcasing Student Skills, Experiences, and Learning Across a Graduate Program

Alice Schmidt Hanbidge (2019) University of Waterloo

In this presentation Alice Schmidt Hanbidge discusses the implementation of a portfolio for Master’s of social work students as a means to track their progress and growth in this primarily online program, help students better articulate their knowledge and skills related to educational competencies necessary for professional practice, as well as to provide students ongoing, formative feedback their work. In addition, Alice discusses the importance of multi-level support to ensure a successful implementation of an ePortfolio.

Alice Schmidt Hanbidge, Associate Professor in the Renison School of Social Work at the University of Waterloo

Introducing Clinical Reflections to Healthcare Learners

Lisa Christian (2019), University of Waterloo

In this presentation Lisa Christian discusses the use of PebblePad workbooks to support and engage healthcare learners in self-reflection, empathetic reflection, and reflective communication as a means to foster critical thinking.  Lisa also discusses the power of feedback and the students’ ability to respond to that feedback as well as feedback templates and rubrics. This process and practice, she believes, will help students become reflective practitioners when they graduate.

Lisa Christian, Associate Clinical Professor and Associate Director of Clinical Education at the University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science

Designing Assessment with PebblePad

Four presentations from an in-house PD day at La Trobe University on 19 July 2018

Presentation Overview:

This presentation focuses on a new way to support oral health science students to develop ongoing reflective practice to maintain professional competence and support certification of competence. It explains how the introduction of an eportfolio can drive curriculum developments and support changes to content delivery. It aims to address the benefits of using an eportfolio framework (within PebblePad) to improve transparency of feedback systems and to monitor student progress in real time.

Presentation Overview:

This presentation outlines the development and implementation of a novel assessment method, “Entrustable Professional Activities”, in an eportfolio with embedded student self assesssment. A custom PebblePad workbook was designed to facilitate assessment for learning on professional placements in Dietetics and enable a data driven approach to collect and analyse how students learn on placement that can feedback into curriculum design.

Presentation Overview:

This presentation describes the use of PebblePad as a weekly reflection tool for a first year Biomedical Science subject.  Students were asked to answer questions on the work they had just completed to fine-tune their understanding.

Presentation Overview:

The presentation aims are to:

1.    Describe the process of developing a video based assessment task for students studying Occupational Therapy;
2. Outline the challenges of using video as a medium;
3. Summarise student feedback on the task;
4.    Describe the process of using an Oscar nomination process to enhance student engagement in the task.

21st Century Skills for an Ancient Profession

Zoe Bradfield and Colleagues (2017), Curtin University

The Midwifery Academic team at Curtin University introduced PebblePad to their courses in February 2016. Whilst the journey has been seasoned with challenges, the overwhelming experience has been one that has enhanced learning and teaching for academics and students alike. In the following presentation Zoe shares the story of implementing the Midwifery ePortfolio through Pebblepad and highlights some goals for future development.

Zoe Bradfield, Lecturer, Midwifery; Lesley Kuliukas, Coordinator, Bachelor of Science (Midwifery); Pauline Costins, Coordinator, Graduate Diploma in Midwifery; & Brooke Thomson, Lecturer, Midwifery; School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine, Curtin University, Australia

Paperless Assessment on Clinical Placement

Marlene Daicopoulos & Helen Dugmore (2017), Murdoch University

To complement the student clinical portfolio in PebblePad, Nursing at Murdoch has created assessment templates that can be completed and signed off while the student is on site, including daily timesheets with the integration Pebble Pocket on smart devices.

Marlene Daicopoulos, ePortfolio Learning Support, & Helen Dugmore, Lecturer in Nursing (Clinical Practice Coordinator), School of Health Professions, Murdoch University, Australia

ePortfolio for employability

Abigail Lewis (2017), Edith Cowan University

How can ePortfolios be used to support students’ employability skills so they are engaged in their course, developing competencies and able to stand out from the crowd in interviews and when addressing selection criteria? There are a range of strategies that can be embedded across a course and enhanced by ePortfolio activities to create a well-rounded work-ready graduate. This presentation describes these activities and strategies in the Speech Pathology course at Edith Cowan University where an ePortfolio has been embedded since 2010. Students are engaged, see the educational value and development their reflective practice. They see the link with their future careers as speech pathologists.

Abigail Lewis, Clinical Coordinator / Lecturer, Speech Pathology, Edith Cowan University, Australia

Giving Students an Employability EDGE - E-portfolios for Dietetic Graduate Employability. Implementing PebblePad within Bachelor of Nutrition & Dietetics.

Lana Mitchell (2017), Griffith University

The ePortfolios for Dietetic Graduate Employability (eDGE) project was introduced into the Nutrition & Dietetic Program at Griffith University in 2016. Through this project, PebblePad was implemented from Year 1 of the degree, with the aim of better evidencing student competency and enhancing employability. This recorded session provides an overview of the project, resources and lessons learned.

You can also view Lana's academic professional portfolio which includes links to many PebblePad workbook examples developed and used in the Nutrition and Dietetics Program.

Lana Mitchell, First Year Coordinator, Nutrition & Dietetics, Griffith University, Australia

A new efficient approach to evidencing clinical skill acquisition

Andrew Kirke (2017), Sheffield Hallam University

Although the acquisition of practical skills in Paramedic practice is key to students' professional development, assessment of these skills can be challenging. The BSc. (Hons) Paramedic programme at Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) uses Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) to assess practical skills. However, this type of assessment is time-consuming and costly due to the need to use many staff to execute. We have seen a significant increase in student numbers, which has further compounded the problem. In addition, it has been well documented that students find OSCEs a very stressful method of assessment (Van Hattum-Jannssen & Lourenco, 2006). The current programme necessitates the assessment of 18 different skills using OSCEs across four modules. These factors highlighted the need to consider other ways of managing these assessments that were more efficient and student focused. All students at SHU have a PebblePad account, which can be linked to the PebblePocket app. During the module, each student was issued with a workbook to which they were required to add two videos of each skill. The first video was both self and peer assessed, whilst the second was assessed by academic tutors. The use of two videos enabled the student to show progression and the benefits of self and peer assessment are also highlighted as essential skills for the registered clinician.

Andrew Kirke, Profgramme Leader, Paramedic Science, Sheffield Hallam University

Embedding employability into the nursing course:

Using PebblePad to engage students in weekly low fidelity immersive simulation in a complex care clinical nursing unit

Caroline NIlson and Martin Hopkins (2017), Murdoch University

The 5th semester Complex Care unit in the Murdoch University Bachelor of Nursing course has historically used paper-based work sheets to guide students through realistic, simulated, low fidelity case based nursing care scenarios. In 2017, PebblePad was utilised to create a set of virtual health records for eight patients with frequently presenting chronic health conditions. The records included the patient's biography (including photographs), clinical history, diagnostic results and nursing documentation. The PebblePad workbook engaged students in a constructivist learning approach as they work in groups at the simulated patient's bedside. Each week they accessed the workbook that provided them with a scenario and the patient's details using monitors above the beds.  The realism of the experience was enhanced by the addition of low fidelity manikins that allowed students to relate the information in the virtual health records to the patient.  The workbook included guidelines on the required nursing care of the patient by using a variety of aids such as clinical skills videos, and by embedding diagnostic evidence such as ECG results into the patient's records.  The workbook was constructed using the latest evidence-based practice that allowed students to critically analyse the information provided to them.  Students worked at a pace that suited their individual learning styles in a safe environment to develop their clinical reasoning skills. Students had ownership of the health records and could work in them at any time. It changed the students' focus from assessment of learning to assessment for learning.  The virtual health records evolved on a weekly basis and guided the students through each case study to provide a realistic and valuable learning experience that was skilfully developed to meet the learning objectives of the unit. In addition, the implementation of the PebblePad workbook positively impacted on the number of hours previously allocated to creating paper-based resources, and on the amount of printed material provided to students, which was always perceived to be an overwhelming volume.

Dr Martin Hopkins and Dr Caroline Nilson, Discipline of Nursing, Murdoch University School of Health Professions, Murdoch University

Introducing a professional portfolio for student nurses

Pete Lonsdale (2015), Keele University

Take away questions:

Can too much choice for students be problematic? Freeform portfolios, and being able to do the same thing in multiple ways, can present challenges for portfolio creation and in the assessment of the submissions.

Pete Lonsdale (2015), Learning Technology Officer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Keele University

Real time, ongoing competency development tracking throughout a dietetics masters degree

Wendy Stuart - Smith (2015), University of Sydney.


Reflective practice and skills growth as a result, underpin the dietetics profession. However, student assessment, both in the classroom and on placement, is traditionally a top-down, supervisor driven process in dietetics in Australia. By using PebblePad, the Nutrition and Dietetics team at the University of Sydney have turned student assessment on its head, by introducing a reflective practice diary that is student-led, based on reflective practice, and supported by multiple level assessment gradings by supervisors. This supports the ethos of life-long reflection and learning by our Professional body, and allows insight into the student’s understanding of their skill development as they progress throughout the course.


Wendy Stuart - Smith, Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Sydney.

Embedding the use of PebblePad to track learning and build evidence of emerging competence in an undergraduate occupational therapy program

Anita Hamilton (2015), University of the Sunshine Coast


PebblePad was adopted as the preferred eportfolio at USC in 2012. The occupational therapy (OT) program was included in the launch of PebblePad in 2013 as it was searching for a replacement for an existing paper-based portfolio system. The OT program took a “slow explore start” approach and integrated PebblePad one year-level at a time, however in response to student and staff feedback the OT program decided to embed PebblePad across all years of its curriculum in 2015. The approach to developing an ePortfolio that students can use for entry to practice will be completed in two phases; the early education phase (focusing on tracking learning) and the transition to practice phase (focusing on translating learning to practice). In this presentation an example of how PebblePad is being used concurrently in workshop-style classes will be demonstrated.

Anita Hamilton, Occupational Therapy, University of the Sunshine Coast